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Glossary of Recycling Terms

Biodegradable Materials - Materials that can break down or rot naturally when attacked by bacteria.

Compost - Compost is created by the controlled breakdown of organic materials including those from the garden. It can be used to improve soil structure and nutrient levels without the need for artificial fertilizers and peat-based composts.

Conservation - The preservation, management, and care of natural and cultural resources.

Greenhouse Gas - A gas that absorbs heat and therefore contributes to the warming of the earth’s atmosphere. Some common greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane.

Hazardous Waste - Waste that is potentially harmful to humans, other living things, and the environment.

Organic Material - Material derived from plants and animals.

Recycling - Using things that have already been used to make new things. Can involve turning the old material into a new version of the same thing.

Reduce - Avoiding creating waste in the first place, an even better thing to do than reusing or recycling. 

Reuse - Using something again, either for the same purpose or for something completely different.

Vermicomposting - The process in which worms are used to break down discarded food and other organic waste and convert them into compost and liquid fertilizers. 

Yard Materials - Materials consisting of grass, leaves, vines, twigs, shrubbery trimmings, branches, and limbs.

Revised August 9, 2010

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